The 2010-11 Purdue season started much the same way that the 2009-10 season ended: with Robbie Hummel out for the season with an ACL injury. It was a devastating injury to a team that had National Championship aspirations, and many of the experts (and some fans) immediately gave up on the Boilers. The players and coaches, though, didn't give up and put together a fine season that ended in disappointment in the NCAA tournament.
Let's look at the stats for the season and see if the numbers can tell us anything about Purdue's season. As always, our stats come from the excellent statsheet.com website.
Overall Record: 26-8
Conference Record: 14-4
Final Conference Standing: 2nd
Home Record: 16-0
Away Record: 7-5
Neutral Court Record: 3-3
Record Against Top 25 at end of year: 2-3
Overtime Record: 1-0
Largest Winning Margin: 55 points vs Alcorn State
Largest Losing Margin: 23 points at Ohio State
Best Win: vs Ohio State #2 end of year RPI
Worst Loss: Iowa #169 end of year RPI
The Paint Crew, Purdue's student section, helped keep opposing teams uncomfortable in Mackey Arena. Purdue never lost at home and their best win of the year was against eventual conference champion Ohio State in West Lafayette. Purdue put together a solid conference season, with some quality road wins at Michigan State, Penn State, Michigan, and Illinois.
Purdue fell apart at the end of the season, losing to Iowa in the regular season finale, and getting beat badly by Michigan State and Virginia Commonwealth. It's hard to say if the Boilers ran out of steam, ran out of luck, or had some internal issues, but it was a disappointing end to the season. Kelsey Barlow was suspended for the season right before the NCAA tournament, so there were obviously some issues within the team. The way the NCAA draw worked out seemed to be perfect for the Boilers to make a run, but VCU steamrolled them on the way to the Final Four.
Team Statistics in Conference Play (Rank in parenthesis)
Possessions per 40 minutes: 64.8 (2nd)
Points per possessions: 1.12 (3rd)
Rebound %: 50.9 (5th)
Assist %: 59.8 (5th)
Turnover %: 14.8 (10th)
True Shooting %: 55.1 (6th)
Points Scored Per Game: 72.5 (2nd)
Points Scored Against Per Game: 64.3 (4th)
Fouls On PU Per Game: 17.3 (5th)
Purdue played a fairly uptempo game by B1G standards, and managed to play at a high offensive efficiency. Their stifling defense also helped the Boilers get through stretches when the shots weren't falling. As we move forward in these team recaps and get to the top teams in the league, it is nice to see a scoring margin chart with a lot more data points above the zero line than below.
Individual Statistical Leaders in Conference Games
Minutes played per game: JaJuan Johnson, 36.3
Points per game: JaJuan Johnson, 20.7
Rebounds per game: JaJuan Johnson, 8.3
Assists per game: Lewis Jackson, 4.1
Steals per game: E'Twaun Moore, 1.0
Blocks per game: JaJuan Johnson, 2.5
Big Ten Player of the Year JaJuan Johnson led the conference in both scoring and blocks. E'Twaun Moore contributed 17.7 ppg to provide a second scoring option for the Boilers. Lewis Jackson, the undersized but quick point guard, averaged double figures in scoring. His slashing drives to the basket were an effective weapon in scoring and getting open shots for outside shooters like Moore and Ryne Smith.
Overall, the 2010-11 Purdue basketball season had some great moments and it was good to see JuJuan Johnson and E'Twaun Moore finish their careers with a solid seasons. Much like the previous season, though, the injury gods may have kept Purdue from being a truly great team. Purdue fans can think about what might have been, but the players on the team acquitted themselves well during the year under difficult circumstances.